SF shouldn’t gouge drivers to pay for transit

SFGate – excerpt

Get ready, San Francisco, for more parking tickets. City authorities are boosting the numbers of meter minders who are expected to write more citations bearing higher fines. It’s a strategy that taps the city’s scarce parking landscape for $86 million in penalties to pay for transit and traffic cures.

For years, the city has plainly stated its goal: Transit – the kind that involves leaving your car behind – comes first. This policy has clamped down on parking lots, drive-thrus, and major garages. It’s painted bicycle lanes, created bus-only lanes to speed travel times and posted 27 preferential parking areas designed to chase away commuters…

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City Hall should find other ways to pay San Francisco’s transit bills than punishing drivers further. Jacking up parking tickets shouldn’t be an option any longer.

The parking odds are against you

  • 420,000 Number of vehicles in San Francisco
  • 281,700 Street parking spaces
  • 28,000 Parking meters
  • 380 Ticket-writing enforcers, up from 335 in 2009; another 27 next year
  • 1.534 million Number of tickets issued in 2011 – there are over 30 categories of parking tickets
  • $86.3 million Revenue from citations
  • $60-$70 Basic parking-meter ticket, depending on location
  • 4,000 Projected additional meters (also, meter enforcement expected on Sunday, which is currently a free day)